Your Xmas Survival Guide!

With only a matter of a few weeks until Christmas day, people are getting excited and looking forward to the festive holiday. However, quite a lot of those people will be getting a little worried with how much weight they will put on. It's pretty easy to pile on the pounds during Xmas - the food, the booze, the social gatherings with endless party food, the chocolate and with the gym being the last thing on your mind, before you know it you would have gained some excess baggage. Here are my top tips to avoid/minimise any weight gain.

1) RELAX!!

Stress is not good for body fat levels whatsoever. If you're constantly worrying about your weight over xmas, you're likely to put more on. You need to remind yourself that it's XMAS! It only comes around once a year, and for most people it usually lasts for around 1 week. Enjoy yourself! don't constantly worry about what you're eating and drinking. You shouldn't be actively trying to lose weight over Christmas, you should be relaxing and having a good time with friends and family. You can always hit the gym hard and clean up your diet once the festive period is over.

2) Be smart with your meals

The one meal a lot of people look forward to is the big daddy of them all, the xmas day dinner. I've seen some that people have blogged about which have added up to over 4,000 calories!! insane. You want to buy leaner cuts of meat, make your own gravy if you can (it's really not that hard) get plenty of vegetables, get as low fat as possible sausages and bacon, and as 'natural' roast potatoes as possible (don't bake them to death in a bucket load of fat!). By cleaning up this one meal, you could save yourself a lot of calories. The same goes for other meals. If you like to drink over xmas, then don't go crazy, but try and off-set some of that calorie intake by eating healthier meals rather than 'junk food'. This will not only lower your calorie intake, but will help to pile in a ton of goodness at a time when your body needs it. One tip for all of the chocolate - just don't buy as much! You'll eat them if they are there, but I doubt you will purposely go out to buy them if you don't.

3) Hydrate!

No, not with alcohol, with water! One thing that most people do not do during xmas, is drink enough water. With all of the 'junk' that you'll be eating and drinking, your body will need a lot of water to help process it and to keep your body hydrated. When you become dehydrated (and drinking alcohol) you can get ill easier, you can feel sick, light headed, and generally feel like garbage during a time where you're meant to be celebrating. Try and drink most of your water during the day, as the evenings are when most of the alcohol consumption is done.

4) Try and exercise!

Some people will still go to the gym, and that's fine, but for most, the gym is the last thing on their to-do list. Try and get out and about during the holiday. A lot of towns/cities have things to do and see over the Christmas holiday - just going out during the day with a loved one can get valuable exercise in. It all adds up!

5) With booze - stick to spirits

An odd tip coming from a nutritionist, but let's face it, alcoholic drinks are everywhere during xmas. A lot of people drink alcohol over xmas with one purpose - to get drunk. Many guys (and some women) drink beer/lager, and a lot of it. Put it this way, you're not going to get drunk on 3 cans of Fosters, so it's quite easy to start knocking back one after another after another... That soon adds up to A LOT of calories, with lagers averaging around 2-300kcal or more (depending on size of the can/bottle). If you drink spirits, not only are they 'neater' than lagers with less calories, but you won't be able to drink as many as easily. However, spirit drinks can soon become calorific if you mix them with cans of coke (or other fizzy drinks), but again, you'll find the effects of the alcohol come on far quicker than with lagers. The reason why lager/beer is extremely popular, is because it's alcohol, and  it's cheap, compared to spirits. It's your choice, but if you're concerned with your weight, drinking 10 Fosters will go above your daily calorie limit, and that's without food! Wine is also lower in calories than lagers, but it's still pretty easy to have a fair few glasses of that!

6) RELAX! Again....

The above tips can help to off-set some of the potential weight gain, but you need to relax. You can hit the ground running with diet and fitness in January. Christmas is once a year, so you want to make the most of it. You don't want it to be over and you're left thinking "I wish I wasn't so strict..."

Have a super Christmas and New Year!!

Lee Gregory Fitness

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